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mwolf7 06-15-2005 09:57 AM

North Channel - Lake Huron
North Channel - Lake Huron
Fellow sailors,
I plan to spend the second and third weeks of July in the North Channel/Georgian Bay on Lake Huron aboard my H40.5 CATALYST. Those of you that have cruised the area may be able to help me prep for the trip. A few points I am trying to work out:

1) I''d love to borrow or rent a C-Map of area; Lake Huron. We have a Raymarine RC320 chart plotter, it takes the small and thin black rectangle cards (I think all CMAP cards are like this).

2) We draw 5'' and would like to anchor as well as dock at a few marinas along the way. We''re coming from Toledo Beach Marina in La Salle, MI/Lake Erie. I know of nice places from my marina to Port Huron, but north of there is a mystery to me.

3) Where should we go? I''ve seen a few pictures of nice, pristine areas in the N.C, but don''t know where they are. Any good web sites?

4) Is anyone heading that way? I know it''s a popular time to cruise up there. We''d like to find another boat to go with.

5) From Port Huron, is there a preferred route? Any reason not to sail through the night? From prior experience, how many days from Port Huron until I get to see some rugged but beautiful places?

6) Anyone know of cheap mooring around Port Huron (say within 40 miles of there)? We''re thinking of staging the boat there a week before we take the trip, so we can enjoy more time in the N.C, rather than transiting.

Feel free to reply here or email us at [email protected]

Thanks yall!

Fair Winds,

duffer1960 06-15-2005 12:13 PM

North Channel - Lake Huron
We did the trip last July/August in a C-38 drawing 5 feet.

1.) Can''t help. We used paper charts, compass and knotlog.
2/5.) We went up the Canadian side from Port Huron. We stopped in Goderich (50-60 miles), Kinkardine (25 miles), Port Elgin (25 miles), Tobermory (60 miles), Club Island (25 miles), Kilarney (25 miles) through Little Current to our first stop in the North Channel, Russell Island (I think). We could have saved a day by skipping Kinkardine, but we got a late start that morning. It turned out to be worth it though, just to watch the bagpiper play from the lighthouse at sunset. We could have saved another day skipping Club Island, but we really enjoyed that stop too. We came back the same route. We stayed at a marina at all of the above stops except Tobermory and Club Island. Once we were in the North Channel, we only anchored.
I''ve been told that if you go straight up the lake From Port Huron to Tobermory, you can do it in 24 hours. FYI, there is really no-where to go in between Port Elgin and Tobermory.
There are also some places before Goderich.
3.) Everywhere up there is beautiful. We especially liked Beardrop Harbor, staying there two nights. We took the dingh outside and had a picnic lunch on one of the smaller islands in Whalesback Channel. We picked blueberrys in the Benjamin islands and had fresh blueberry pancakes for two days. Store bought blueberries don''t even come close to these! I HIGHLY recommend getting the "Ports" guide for the North Channel. It''s around $40.00, but well worth it. Also, if you head up the Canadian side and stop in Tobermory, The Chart Shop (yes, that''s what it is called) has all of the charts you will need, and more. They also have the Ports guide there (I got mine a West Marine, but it was not the latest, there was a new version last year. I don''t know if they come out with a new version every year or not).
4.) Nope, we''re doing Erie this year. I hope it won''t be too much of a let-down after the North Channel.
6.) Check some of the marinas on the Canadian side, they may have mooring fields.

This is a very short summary. If you would like some more info, send me an e-mail at rduff AT visteon DOT com

tommyt 06-15-2005 04:59 PM

North Channel - Lake Huron
There is a good cruising guide of the North Channel by Ralph Folsom. It is a re-write of Marjorie Cahn Braxer''s "Well-Favored Passage" and has a lot of detail on the NC from history, towns, restaurants, provisioning, anchorages, etc.. An interesting read.


OutofBounds 06-21-2005 06:24 AM

North Channel - Lake Huron
We cruised the North Channel for a few summers in the early 90''s (we sailed further south in 1993 and have been cruising the Bahamas and Northwest Caribbean). Our favorite town was Killarney. Our favorite anchorage was Covered Portage Cove and our favorite sailing was through the Whalesback. We still think the North Channel has some of the pretties anchorages of anywhere we''ve been, although we do like the warmer water down here! If you get over to Georgian Bay, be sure to go to Bad River. A great place to explore.


Sailmc 06-22-2005 10:40 AM

North Channel - Lake Huron
I am also looking for info on cruising the North Channel. I have the Ports O Call book but that lists mainly marinas. I am looking for anchoring ifo. I will be entering the Channel at the Detour passage coming from the west and will have only a few days to explore. Any sugestions would be welcome. Also looking for any guide that migh contain ifo on good anchorages on the west end.

duffer1960 06-22-2005 06:44 PM

North Channel - Lake Huron
You want the "Ports" cruising guide for the north channel, not Ports o'' call. The ports guide lists almost all of the different anchorages and islands up there. It is great for gunkholing, showing the best routes between rocks, shoals, and shore.

Sailmc 06-23-2005 05:18 AM

North Channel - Lake Huron
Thanks! Looks like what I was looking for. I found it online.

windriderN35 05-05-2009 10:03 PM

I've been up & down both the Michigan & Canadain sides. Lots of choices to stop. You'll only be limited by weather & your own sailing style. If you draw only 5' you'll be fine about anywhere. There are no mooring fields that I have found, but tons of good anchorages in the NC. If you really want to research NC sites Google/join the Great Lakes Cruising Club ($100 +/-) & get all their wonderful harbor reports (now on-line). They give great detail for ports and anchorages --- even down which grocery stores will give you you & your purchases a ride back to the dock. If you are going from Lake Erie plan on either 4 weeks or hammering up & then back home. Eat the white fish!

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